12th July 2008

Great Big Beautiful Wonderful Incredible Super Spectacular Day

Mad Super Special Mystery Record

Before I traded in my National Geographics for Playboys Hustlers, I was a consistent reader of MAD. What I really loved was the occasional flexi-disc records they’d include in their Super Specials. And the holy grail of all flexi-discs was The MAD Mystery Record. The record played “Super Spectacular Day”, a story in song that described the most absolute best day you could ever be having — until — the record randomly branched into one of eight different disastrous random endings.

It’s still clever even as an adult, but as a kid I was simply fascinated by it. How could a record have different endings? How did the record choose which one to play? I played the record over and over to hear them all and to study how it worked. Finally my Dad explained it to me: while normal records have one spiral groove per side, the MAD disc had multiple grooves spiraled together in parallel. All of the grooves had music that started off with the same beginning, so the branching appeared to happen mid-way through. But in reality it was the initial drop of the needle that determined what ending played.

Super Spectacular Day is a classic example of MAD’s corny humor. And of course, someone has put all eight tracks on Youtube so you can enjoy it for free (Cheap!). The actual playback of the song starts about 30 seconds in.

Here’s the Lyrics, courtesy of barrygoldberg.net, rearranged to match the order of the Youtube video:

It’s a great big, beautiful, wonderful, incredible, super-spectacular day
And your heart is humming with good times coming
And you got that happy feeling things are going your way
All the bells are ringing and a little bird’s singing while he sits on your windowsill
Singing yessiree, I can surely see, it will plainly be, most definitely
A super-spectacular day!


‘Round quarter to five your relations arrive
And you greet cousin Beth with terrible breath
And a fat British guy who destroys your hi-fi
And your great uncle Fred who gets drunk in your bed
And your third cousin Dick who is metally sick
And his creepy friend Joe and six more you don’t know
And you’re sure there and then as you’re shafted again…

‘Round seven at night you go out for a bite
The streets are aglow from a large UFO
A creature comes out with two heads and a snout
It talks like a frog and throws up on your dog
It thinks you are great and wants you for its mate
You’re sealed in a case and go flying in space
And you silently say as the Earth fades away…

You walk out the door of a dry cleaning store
And you’re grabbed by surprise by three mafia guys
Who mistakenly think that you’re Hymie the Fink
They break your right arm and do bodily harm
And you’re writhing in pain and you try to explain
That your name is Jerome and you’re on your way home
And you let out a sigh as you’re left there to die…

A quarter past eight you pick up your blind date
And you really go ape for her fabulous shape
Of the girls that you’ve met she’s the classiest yet
And she’s pretty and bright and it’s love at first sight
And it’s really a shame she’s not feeling the same
‘Cuz she thinks you’re a shmuck and she says “lots of luck”
And you sob in despair as she gives you the air…

You’re called down in class and you feel like an ass
‘Cuz you don’t have a clue and you know that it’s due
To those classes you skipped and you’re fly is unzipped
And your acne has spread to the back of your head
And some jerk spreads the word that you’re some kind of nerd
And you fight in the hall and punch through a wall
And there isn’t a doubt as they’re flunking you out…

You develop a twitch and a horrible itch
And you’re covered with spots and you’re getting the trots
And you’re feet start to swell and it’s easy to tell
From this hideous wheeze that some awful disease
So you call an M.D. and he says “don’t ask me”
If it gets any worse you can speak to my nurse
And you manage to say as you wither away…

Your sister pours glue in her hair and blames you
And your neighbor says that you’re abusing her cat
And you just left the john with the water turned on
And the house gets all wet and your mother’s upset
And you’d die if you knew what your dad’s gonna do
And your python gets loose and you know it’s no use
And you cry there in fear and it’s now very clear…

You go out for a spin and your sunroof caves in
And the steering wheel shakes so you slam on the brakes
And the gears get all stuck as you sideswipe a truck
And you run out of gas while you’re trying to pass
And you’re stalled on the tracks and you try to relax
But the train’s coming through and it’s heading for you
And you have a quick flash as you brace for the crash….

… that it’s not such a super-spectacular day!

There are currently 14 responses to “Great Big Beautiful Wonderful Incredible Super Spectacular Day”

  1. 1 On July 26th, 2008, Monica said:

    OH MY GOODNESS, my brother still has this and we played this ALL THE TIME!!!

  2. 2 On September 7th, 2008, Pisces said:

    Bless you for putting this up! I still sing it from time to time. I was 12 when my uncle got this record and we listened to it for hours! Fun, fun, fun!

  3. 3 On September 13th, 2008, W Sanders said:

    As sung by the cast of “Goodfellas!”, I kept thinking for some reason. Poifect!

  4. 4 On October 25th, 2008, Janet said:

    I’ve had this song in my head for almost 30 years! Thanks so much for letting me listen to it again!

  5. 5 On February 2nd, 2009, Mike said:

    I had this record a loooong time ago. I still knew all the word before I found this site.

  6. 6 On March 19th, 2009, Sean said:

    One day my 5 year old said, “Dad can you sing me a song?” And so without even thinking, I started out with the first 1/2 of the song, getting all of the lyrics exact, but I never remembered the “Until”s very well. Thanks so much for keeping this alive! My 8 year old loves it! His brother can’t quite understand the “until”s, but we’re having fun with it regardless…Thanks again!

  7. 7 On May 20th, 2009, Joe K. said:

    I went to sleep last night with this song in my head and had to see if I could find it and here it was! Thanks be to the internet! I really wish I still had this record. It’s wild to think about how novel this really was. And how catchy. I like the previous quote about the Goodfellas cast. Much thanks!

  8. 8 On July 20th, 2009, Jeff R. said:

    I have been singing parts of that song since I got that issue in 80 at age 14. Nobody knows that song and looks at me like I’m crazy. Thank you thank you thank you for putting the words here, I couldn’t remember all of them. Now I can sing it to my wife who thinks I’m crazy anyway. Again thank you.

  9. 9 On January 11th, 2010, Michael said:

    This is absolutely priceless! Like others, I’ve had this tune bouncing around my head for 30 years, and could always sing the first half perfectly but couldn’t remember any of the UNTIL’s in detail. In 1990 or 1991, I actually wrote to Mad magazine asking if they had any copies they could send me–I’d long since lost mine. I got a letter from William Gaines himself, saying sorry, it sure was popular, all sold out!

  10. 10 On April 18th, 2010, Pamela said:

    Unbelievable……you have made my day! I cannot thank you enough.
    We lost the original, but wouldn’t be able to play it now anyway. This is my opportunity to enjoy it again and even pass down to the kids. Something I know they will absolutely luv and enjoy!

  11. 11 On October 26th, 2010, Tim said:

    I had that one! I played it over and over again, and had some of the “untils” memorized. I remember being invited to bring records for a church event, and I asked about bringing this one, “but some of the songs aren’t good to listen to” (remembering “called on in class”). I couldn’t get them to understand that I just skipped over that one, and that the rest of it was funny, and acceptable.

  12. 12 On May 3rd, 2011, Ellen said:

    My brother and I figured out the different needle drop points back then, but it was difficult to make out some of the lyrics. It is so hard to get the song out of my head when it IS a super spectacular day outside! In the Pacific Northwest there is always the possibility of unTILLLL…

  13. 13 On July 4th, 2011, Marilyn said:

    Thought that my sister and I were the only ones that knew this song! I have sang it randomly for the past 30 years and people look at me like I’ve gone crazy! The funniest thing is I had no idea he said, “untillll”…my sister and I always sang, “like hellllll!” LOL!!!! Thanks for making my super spectacular day!

  14. 14 On November 29th, 2011, joe said:

    Great Stuff. Remember playing this record over and over again as a kid. The UNTILLL is so great.